Gavin Turns 9 + Valentine’s Day

Strep week was brutal, and after the kids got a few days of unlimited screen time I started to feel better. By Friday, day four of my z-pack, I could swallow and my energy was starting to come back. Antibiotics can be wonderful. Ben was just about completely recovered (he went back to school on Wednesday) and Logan seemed to be on the mend, was sleeping through the night again.

Then Friday night Logan had another brutal non-sleep. I judge my kids’ wellness on their nights, and I knew he was still sick. However, the Saturday on-call pediatrician, after a perfunctory glance, told me “everything is just draining” and his tonsils would “be large for a while”. After I said there must be something else he needs, because he is not getting well, she kind of laughed/shrugged, “Oh, I know it was a rough night, but he looks fine now.”

The next four days were up and down. Saturday night he didn’t sleep. The next night I rubbed him all over with eucalyptus and lavender oil and he slept straight until 10 the next morning. However, the essential oils seemed to provide relief but not a cure, and finally early Wednesday morning, after Logan woke up at five coughing so hard he couldn’t breathe, Christopher insisted, “I think he has pneumonia, you have to take him back.” I did not want another pediatrician to tell me I was wrong, that he really was fine, but I did take him back, paid another $15 copay, and this time saw my regular doctor. She said, “Well, yeah, he’s wheezing up a storm, did you give him Albuterol?” Well, no, I said, I usually wait for some kind of directive before giving my child prescription drugs. I got her to write me a new scrip. The inhaler I found at home was several years expired (yay for the past few healthy winters!) My doctor said the Albuterol would keep his airways open, preventing pneumonia (he didn’t have it yet), and keep him from coughing at night.  And wouldn’t you know, I started giving him “puffs”, as he calls them, every 3 or 4 hours, and it worked like a dream. Within a day he was basically back to normal, and I bumped the meds down to 2-3 times a day. Modern medicine for the win.

So during this two-week germ battle, Gavin turned nine. We got up early on his birthday so he could open his gifts before Megan left for school. He got books from Grandma and Grandpa, Legos from Grammy and Poppy, a whole bag of random fun stuff (marbles, light-up glasses, Harry Potter stickers) from Megan, $20 from Gigi, $10 from Great-Grandma, and tons and tons of clothes (“that’s a whole wardrobe”, Christopher commented) from us. In lieu of a party this year, he got to see the Lego Movie with his siblings and best bud Brandon. I did make him his requested dinner on his birthday (fried chicken), and take Krispy Kreme donuts to his classroom, but he didn’t get his cake until Saturday, after the Lego movie. We let Gavin and Ben blow out candles, since I couldn’t actually find the candles on Ben’s birthday.

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Also, during Germ Fest 2014, we had a snow day. It was Sunday morning, the day after I took Logan to the useless doctor. Since we have afternoon church now, the kids had a blast playing in it. Even sick, exhausted Logan insisted he get to play outside for a little while. It was a bit colder this time, and the little boys were especially eager to come inside for hot chocolate. Thankfully, our snow days were brief and mild, and no ice! It has been a great winter (knock on wood).

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Another major thing happening right now, and the main source of stress for us over the next few months, is our plan to sell BOTH homes. Our tenants moved out of our Maple Valley house on Valentine’s Day. Now we have to renovate and get it on the market. We are going to attempt to sell it by ourselves. I have driven down to Maple Valley five times in the past two weeks to meet contractors and painters and figure out how to best spend the money to fix it up. Our tenant in our Virginia townhouse is being deployed to Afghanistan, and it seems like good timing to get that one on the market, as well. Hopefully by the summer we’ll be out of the landlord business.

I almost forgot to mention Valentine’s Day, with all the insanity of the sicknesses and house issues. I made some crafts and cupcakes for Ben’s preschool but did not attend the party with a still-coughing Logan. I helped Gavin make Mad Libs valentines, an idea we found on Design Mom. I didn’t have the energy to make heart-shaped pancakes or anything, but I did pick up a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s and Christopher and I went out. Our original date plan was to do some work on the Maple Valley house, but Christopher wanted to take me to dinner instead. We tried this brewery that was recommended by a Facebook friend. It sounded a lot nicer than it actually was. Christopher ordered a house-brewed root beer, which always excites him, and I started to order a sandwich (it was a brewery, remember?) and he said, “Let’s order the Valentine’s special, please, just humor me.” The Valentine’s special was spaghetti and meatballs and although I know that you don’t order Italian food at a brewery that basically looks like a glorified bar, apparently Christopher didn’t. After our salads, we waited so long for our entree that Christopher later said they must have said, “Someone seriously ordered the special?! Quick, somebody run to the grocery store and buy a jar of Ragu!” And the meatballs were cold and awful. We told the poor waitress, who was already so apologetic that we had sat there for an hour nursing a root beer, that we just couldn’t eat it, and she talked to the manager and they told us no charge so we left $10 on the table for the root beer and salads and got out of there. And laughed and laughed. Because we have had some humorous dining experiences. That anniversary in Arlington where Christopher got food poisoning. The restaurant in a podunk Utah town where Christopher complained about the prime rib and the waitress said, “Honey, have you ever HAD prime rib?” The raw chicken at a Red Robin in California (we still haven’t been back, and it’s been YEARS). Ah, memories. We ended up playing volleyball at the church with seven other couples and getting huge helpings of frozen yogurt after. The best part… free babysitting. We love that Megan.

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2 thoughts on “Gavin Turns 9 + Valentine’s Day

  1. Also — I think your family has got to be the most sickly family I know. What’s the deal?! My kids are both in daycare (in fact, Atticus goes to two different schools) and they go to childcare at FUS plus random other places and we have not had to do antibiotics or anything since…. Atticus had tubes? They get colds/coughs frequently but never anything like your kids. Rotten luck 😦

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